home news topics photos press opinion donate contact


Women claim police abuse and cover-up in lawsuit

By Emma Graves Fitzsimmons | Tribune staff reporter

7:55 PM CDT, September 27, 2007 - LINK with VIDEO

An off-duty Chicago police officer beat three women in a road-rage hate crime, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

Two Illinois state troopers helped cover up the incident by charging the women and not thoroughly investigating the case, a lawyer for the women said at a news conference Thursday morning.

"This case is just another example of the corruption, cover-up and brutality that is festering inside the Chicago Police Department," said attorney Dana Kurtz.

The women were heading home from Chicago's gay pride parade on June 24 when the officer ran them off Interstate Highway 55 because the driver honked at him for driving slowly, Kurtz said. The off-duty officer, William Szura, assaulted the women, using degrading slurs because of their sexual orientation, she said.

The 10-item lawsuit also names State Troopers Martin Miloslavich and Gabriel Aragones and accuses the officers of a hate crime, false arrest, excessive force and conspiracy for the "code of silence" in reporting instances of police misconduct.

The plaintiffs, Kelly Fuery, Debra Sciortino and Nicole Tomaskovic, were charged with battery.

Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the incident is being investigated by the Office of Professional Standards.


Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.